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tools needed for ball joint replacement

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Old 08-18-2004, 01:53 PM
tremington tremington is offline
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Default tools needed for ball joint replacement

I'm going to change the ball joints in my '98 Durango (5.2L, 4x4) and am looking for advice on the tools needed...I've seen separator forks available for removing the joints that are cheap and look easy...I've also seen some elaborate kits that include a press (c clamp) and specialty sockets for both removal and installation...the kits I've seen are about $100...my experience has always been that a job is easy with the right tools and a nightmare without...any advice?...also, does anyone know what size socket is needed to remove the front drive axle nut? (I can take off the hubcap and check myself but was hoping someone knew off hand)...thanks
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:06 AM
dodgemech dodgemech is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

You need the BIG kit with the clamp looking thing, that is the press and it should lots of spacers and arbors too. You will also need a grinder or air hammer or something to cut the really BIG rivets out of the upper ball joints.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:06 PM
tremington tremington is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

this is probably a dumb question, but why can't the ball joint be seated the same way you would a wheel stud using washers and tightening the bolt up?
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Old 08-21-2004, 05:05 AM
dodgemech dodgemech is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

won't work, all you will do is pull the taper into the spindle and make it real tough to get it back out. In a pinch you could ( I have done this) use a large sleeve or peice of pipe the same size as the outer edge of the ball joint and just hammer it in, of course then you would have to remove the arm to turn it upside down.
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:16 PM
robust57 robust57 is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

Just did these repairs myself. The hub nut is a 1 and 1/4 inch nut. You only need to remove this for the lower ball joints. You will also need a ball joint press to press out the old one and press in the new one. You will also need to remove your CV joint, brake caliper, brake disc for the lowers as well. Give yourself about 4 hours for each lower ball joint. Here's the press I bought http://www.mytoolstore.com/astro/ast...all+joint+tool and it worked great once I figured out which parts to use and how to use them, its a bit of a puzzle at first. You'll also need some sort of pickle fork set that is wide enough to fit around the ball joints. One hint for the lowers is to remove the dust cap before separating the lower control arm and the steering knuckle. The rubber dusk cap will get in your way and you'll be banging on the pickle fork and cursing that it won't separate.

For the upper ball joints all you need is a drill to get out the rivets.

Feel free to contact me if you need some help while in the process. To do all 4 give yourself the entire weekend and good luck.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:36 PM
tremington tremington is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

thanks Dodgemech and Robust for your input...I did the job weekend before last...took 20 hours mostly because of the learning curve...if I had to do it again, could probably do it in about 12-16...I did get stuck on the lower joint removal...the way they were pressed in the factory made it impossible to press them out (probably would have helped to have the right tool though)...had to grind the top of the ball joint down flush with the lower suspension arm and was then able to pound them out...separating the joints from the steering knuckle was never a problem...they came right off using a pickle fork...I put in new Moog joints and new Monroe shocks...still need to get it aligned and I need new tires...rides great though...now I need to concentrate on changing the timing chain...not sure if I want to tackle that myself
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Old 09-02-2004, 04:58 AM
dodgemech dodgemech is offline
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Default RE: tools needed for ball joint replacement

Ataboy--most folks wouldn't have attempted to taclke that job themselves. I won't tell you how long it takes me to do them (I can 2 trucks in a 8 hour day and still take a long lunch), so a big condrats to you. If you could figure out that BJ press on your own , you can put a timing chain on a Magnum. If it was a 4.7 I'd say run like hell, they suck.
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Old 09-02-2004, 04:58 AM
 
 
 
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